After announcement of poll results, an article in the Daily Nation caught my attention: ‘‘How calculated, ruthless strategy won it for Uhuru.’’

The author wrote, “Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election is a culmination of meticulous planning and long hours on the campaign trail that left the opposition playing catch up.”

The author went on to explain how Mr Kenyatta exploited social media and all resources at his disposal to traverse every part of the country wooing voters.

This reminded me of a discussion we had with a friend about a fellow businessman who ventured into politics. Though he lost the parliamentary seat, we were amused by his commitment to this cause that was clearly lacking in his business.

It was notable that, especially the last six months to the polls, he literally camped in the villages hunting for votes with charisma, energy and commitment that we never thought he had.

The big question then is why did he not show the same enthusiasm and commitment to business? You don’t need an expert to tell you that if most political aspirants showed the same commitment, creativity and dedication to any other venture, especially business they would succeed beyond imagination.

In politics, there are two things that bring forth a sense of urgency and commitment that unfortunately, their absence in business produces the opposite results.

First is the timeline. Everyone knows the poll’s day is set and if one misses or loses, it takes a season to make good. Therefore, the election day serves as a perfect deadline or target that every candidate must meet or miss. It is a matter of life and death to some.

Second, in politics, the winner-takes-it-all. Unlike in business where the reward is commensurate with the output, in politics, it is win or loss.

There is no reward for the losers. The winner takes all the power and the losers lose everything.

One of the leading cause of failure in business is a lack of urgency in executing plans or making decisions.

Most business owners live under the illusion that there is no hurry since nobody is bossing over them and targets set by themselves if any are not cast in stone. They therefore relax and are readily overtaken by their competitors.

Having a business plan, a strategy and a desire are mere prerequisites of success in business. Timely execution is what matters most.

There are many business owners with many ideas that if executed with precision and commitment they deserve, success is guaranteed, yet they are idling around and hoping to execute them some day.

Developing and nurturing the ‘habit of now’ in your life is a strong ingredient of success.

This article was first published in the Business Daily on August 14, 2017.

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